3 Indian villages in the nomination list of “Best Tourist Villages” by the UNWTO
“Tourism can be an engine of positive change for rural communities around the world”, – UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili
Three Indian villages have entered the nominations for “Best Tourist Villages” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The World Tourism Organization has appealed for the best tourist villages, whose applications will close on September 15, 2021.
The UNWTO recognizes villages around the world that are committed to the promotion and preservation of their cultural heritage and sustainable development through tourism.
Three Indian villages on the list
Three Indian villages, namely Ladhpura Khas, Madhya Pradesh, Kongthong village, Meghalaya and Pochampally village, Telangana is on the list. The villages have a unique story to tell.
Ladhpura Khas, deputy
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan shared the news and congratulated the state tourism department on the appointment of Ladhpura Khas.
A moment of pride for all of us, as the village of Madhya Pradesh, Ladhpura Khas, has been selected to participate in the “Best Tourist Village” of @ UNWTO.
My best wishes to the entire @MPTourism team and to the administration for this achievement. Keep up the good work!
– Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) September 10, 2021
Madhya Pradesh is not only home to wildlife and forts, but is also known for its crafts, artwork, and other cultural traditions. Ladhpura Khas village is located near Orchha Tehsil town of Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh. One can experience the local and rural way of life while visiting many monuments of Orchha, another tourist destination in the state.
Kongthong, also known as the Whistling Village, is famous for its unique tradition of assigning a melody to the birth of a child. This unique Indian village composes a melody to call a person instead of names.
The whistling village of #Meghalaya, Kongthong, is selected to enter the “Best tourist village” of @WTO along with 2 other villages of the [email protected] @tourismgoi @meghtourism
– Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) September 8, 2021
Kongthong village was adopted by Rajya Sabha MP Prof Rakesh Sinha.
The village of Pochampally in Telangana is known as the Ikkat capital of India. It has a rich historical and cultural significance.
Located in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district, Bhoodan Pochampally is known for his hand-weaving work which includes the delicate hand-woven ikkat sari. Pochampally sari also received a Geographical Indication (GI) label in 2005.
The Pochampally looms park uses 5,000 looms and is world famous. The weaving cluster is inscribed on a World Heritage Tentative List.
In addition, the place is also associated with history. Acharya Vinoba Bhave started the Bhoodan movement from the village of Pochampally by asking wealthy landowners to cede their land to the landless. The place has kept its tradition intact, a requirement of the UNWTO for the label of the best tourist village.
The label “Best tourist villages by UNWTO”
A village that recognizes its cultural and natural assets, preserves and promotes rural and community values, products, way of life and is committed to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental, will be chosen for the best tourism Village label.
In addition, it will also receive support from UNWTO and its partners to improve elements of areas identified as gaps in the assessment process. With this initiative, UNWTO is seeking the best examples of rural villages that harness the power of tourism to provide opportunities and protect their communities, local traditions and heritage.
Rural Tourism Project: India
To promote rural tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the Rural Tourism Project. With this, it aims to promote domestic and foreign tourism and stimulate the socio-economic development of rural populations.
As part of the project, the Ministry of Tourism evaluated 107 rural tourism projects spread across all states of India. This was done to understand the effect of rural tourism projects on the lives of the inhabitants of the villages and to analyze whether the uniqueness of the areas has succeeded in attracting tourists.
The Indian government has taken several initiatives to boost rural tourism, such as the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the institution of the National Tourism Award for “Best Rural / Agri / Plantation Tourism Projects” among several others.
Stimulate rural tourism
The UNWTO initiative will help identify villages that adopt innovative and transformative approaches to tourism in rural areas in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, it will also help reduce regional inequalities and fight the rural exodus.
The UNWTO award will also recognize the uniqueness of each village, which can be helpful in boosting tourism in that village.